Decoding GS-III Paper for UPSC Mains 2020

Hey All Aspirants…..!!!!!

Welcome back to VAJIRAO IAS ACADEMY.

Today on this article, we will be discussing about strategies to ace the General Studies Paper-3 i.e. “Tips and Strategies for GS Paper-3”. Well, you can also have a look at the previous article of the series “Tips and Strategies for GS Paper-2”.

The GS-3 paper is quite broad in terms of the syllabus and includes both static and dynamic parts. To deal with the paper it is important to have a strong foundation of the subject and for this start early with the NCERTs. The questions asked can be easily answered if one has a good hold over the current affairs as most of the questions revolve around the contemporary affairs only sans a few. 

The Indian Economy syllabus itself is divided into many subtopics within the syllabus.
For instance, consider the following question asked in UPSC Mains 2016,

“What are smart cities? Examine their relevance for urban development in India. Will it increase rural-urban differences? Give arguments for Smart villages’ in the light of PURA and RURBAN mission?”

Now, such a question requires you to have a dynamic outlook. Reading the Newspaper daily along with current affairs, yearly budgets and economic survey will prove very effective. Sample this, from UPSC Mains, 2016:

Women empowerment in India needs gender budgeting. What are the requirements and status of gender budgeting in the Indian context?

UPSC has taken a full reverse turn from its previous trend and the papers now are becoming more dynamic-oriented. The solution will be “more on the spot innovative thinking”. Being flexible during preparation i.e. not just mugging up texts rather having a critical analysis of the same will suffice.

Reading a whole book for topics in the syllabus for this paper will be futile and time-consuming. The cost-benefit ratio is very low. You need to play smart here, devote proper time for each topic and supplement it with revisions.

Syllabus and Booklist
The syllabus can be broadly divided into the following categories:

  1. Science and Technology
  2. Economic Development
  3. Biodiversity and Environment
  4. Internal Security
TOPICS FROM SYLLABUS BOOKLIST/REFERENCES
Science and Technology Basic NCERT books, Down To Earth magazine, Monthly current affairs journal
Economic Development Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh/Uma Kapila/Dutt and Sundaram
Biodiversity and Environment NCERT Class 12th Biology- Last 4 Chapters, Environment by Shankar IAS, MoEFCC website
Internal Security The Hindu Editorials, Current affairs magazines, Challenges to Internal Security McGraw Hills

For sub-topics such as Inclusive Growth, Population, Cropping patterns and other ancillary topics you need to go through the Government schemes and policies, Economic Survey, Budget etc. These are perhaps self-explanatory, rather making a good use of internet will help you more for this paper.

Tips and Strategies

  • The paper requires careful preparation. Don’t get overboard on a single topic. Keep your study materials concise.
  • Select the books depending upon your convenience, the book which is more lucid for you. It goes a long way in defining your preparation for the subject.
  • If you are unable to understand any topic from the books, as the case with most economics topics, do watch video lectures in YouTube, it will give you a clearer prospective.
  • Having realization that you have time constraints will help you prioritize your timings. It is very crucial in terms of writing answers in the mains.
  • Try discussing the contemporary topics with your fellow aspirants. This will give you a wide array of visions on the issues.

After going through this article, we are pretty sure that you will now have a more clear idea in terms of what ought to be done for this paper. Well, don’t ever forget the mantra to crack UPSC:

“Read, Re-read, Write, Revise, Repeat”

Stay tuned for further updates in the series…..

Till then…..Think Positive, Stay Healthy…..!!!!!!



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